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MicroRNA-29a and MicroRNA-124 as novel biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma

      Abstract

      Background

      Numerous microRNAs (miRNAs) have been observed to be abnormally expressed in cancer. Therefore, miRNA signatures could be potential noninvasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

      Aims

      To correlate miRNA-29a and miRNA-124 expression levels with the clinical features and survival rates of HCC patients.

      Methods

      Serum miRNA expression in 150 samples (50 patients with HCC, 50 patients with liver cirrhosis, and 50 healthy controls) were quantified using real-time qRT-PCR.

      Results

      The expression levels of serum miRNA-29a were higher and the levels of miRNA-124 were lower in patients with HCC than in patients with liver cirrhosis and controls. ROC curve analysis showed promising accuracy for both miRNAs in distinguishing patients with HCC from those with liver cirrhosis. Levels of miRNA-29a were related to tumor number, size, stage, and outcome, whereas levels of miRNA-124 were related to vascular invasion. The overall survival rate of patients with low miRNA-29a expression was significantly higher than that of patients with high expression. Additionally, the multivariate analysis identified miRNA-29a as an independent prognostic variable.

      Conclusions

      The investigated miRNAs showed acceptable accuracy in the diagnosis of HCC; therefore, both could be utilized as diagnostic biomarkers. Additionally, miRNA-29a could be used as a prognostic biomarker.

      Keywords

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